The original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released 55 years ago today in 1956. It’s a B-quality movie that’s creepy and fun. Fall asleep and your body is cloned in a big slimy alien pod outside your bedroom window or down in the basement. Then you’re dead and replaced by a clone with no emotion. “Come on and join us.” No, run!
I saw “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” about 20 years ago on VHS and thought it was boring, but my childish adult sensibilities have allowed me to appreciate it now as a story about non-conformity. (Originally it was supposed to scare Americans into not becoming Communists, but The Tea Party is taking care of that these days.) Continue reading 55 Years of Body Snatching→
Salt stars Angelina Jolie as a super spy on the run who jumps off bridges and moving cars three or four times, easy, blows stuff up, punches and kicks the crap out everyone and doesn’t stop running ever, not even at the end. Everything happens too fast to notice the plot, but there’s enough to keep it moving. I wish I’d seen it in a theatre. Angelina Jolie can act, too, and manages to bring credibility to the character in the most unbelievable situations. It might have been the the best action movie I saw in 2010. It’s silly, but who cares? It’s non-stop smash ’em up fun.
I saw Barney’s Version in a theatre last night and liked it. It’s a Canadian movie, which means it’s lucky to be seen by 1% of Canadian movie goers, thanks to the US’s distribution monopoly in North America (just saying), which is too bad, because there are plenty of high calibre Canadian films like “Barney’s Version” that are worth watching.
“Barney’s Version” tells a life story of a Mordecai Richler type character who marries the wrong women before he finally marries the right one. It doesn’t matter that the movie wanders a bit and doesn’t have the strongest narrative arc, Paul Giamatti and then Dustin Hoffman playing the dad are in such good form, as are all the actors, it’s satisfying just to watch all the characters live their lives. “Barney’s Version” isn’t on par with Away From Her, but it’s in the same class.
Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown stars Sean Penn as a Django Reinhardt styled guitarist during the Depression. It’s not as boring as I thought it was the first time I saw it 10 years ago, and it’s not all that bad, but you might have to appreciate Woody’s Allen sensibilities to get into it. It plays more like a straight bio than a comedy, so it’s kind of funny and kind of not, but as with all of Allen’s period movies, it’s got a great look. (Today happens to be Django Reinhardt’s birthday.)
Someone asked me what I thought were the worst movies of 2010. I know what I like, so I manage to avoid the bad ones most of the time. But occasionally a real stinker gets through. Two of them got through in 2010. Here they are:
Splice, a science fiction movie about two of the dumbest scientists in movie history who create a human/who-knows-what hybrid that walks on hooves, has a stinger in its tail, sprouts wings and then tries to kill everyone. It’s a freakish, unpleasant, torture-porn type of movie. I can’t think of a single reason to recommend it, unless you like that kind of crap. What a waste of time. ZERO STARS.